1) LEARNING TWO THINGS FROM A SINGLE VERSE
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, the Tana Kama (Rebbi Yehudah) and Rebbi Yosi argue whether one fulfills his obligation to recite the Shema if he recites it so inaudibly that he does not hear what he says. The Tana Kama says that he fulfills his obligation and Rebbi Yosi says that he does not. The Gemara explains that Rebbi Yosi derives from the word "Shema" ("hear") that one must hear what he says, and that the Shema may be recited in any language that one understands.
Generally, two laws cannot be derived from one word in the Torah. How does Rebbi Yosi derive two laws from one word?
(a) RASHI (DH Tarti Shema Minah) explains that once we derive the Halachah "in any language which you can hear" from the word "Shema," it is implicit that you must hear what you say as well. (That is, if the verse just meant to teach that the Shema must be said in any language, it would have used the word "Haven" --"understand.")
(b) The RASHBA says that once we derive the Halachah that the Shema can be said in any language, we can infer that the Shema must be recited audibly. If one could fulfill his obligation just by thinking the words of the Shema, then it would not be relevant to derive that the Shema could be said in any language, because thought does not utilize language. (The Tana Kama, though, explains that although one does not have to hear what he says, he does have to pronounce the words with his mouth. Rebbi Yosi maintains that this is not considered speech, and therefore the only way that the Shema may be recited in any language is if one says it audibly.)
TOSFOS in Shabbos (12b, DH she'Ein) also seems to maintain that thought functions independently of language. In discussing the Gemara in Shabbos which says that the angels do not understand the Aramaic language, Tosfos presents the following question. If the angels understand the thoughts of man, then they should understand a person when he speaks Aramaic, because whenever a person speaks, he also thinks, and his thoughts are not in Aramaic! (Tosfos leaves his question unanswered.)
Tosfos later in Shabbos, though, seems to disagree. Tosfos there (40b, DH v'Chi Teima) implies that one does think in the language in which he speaks.
Apparently, there are different levels of thought. Thought can be done with language, but there is a deeper level of thought that is beyond language. Had it been possible to fulfill the Mitzvah of the Shema through thought beyond language, the Mitzvah of the Shema would have been similar to the Mitzvah of learning Torah, which can be accomplished through understanding the words on a level of thought beyond language. (M. KORNFELD; see also Insights to Nedarim 77:2.)
2) RECITING PRAYERS INAUDIBLY
QUESTION: Two Amora'im in the Gemara attribute two different Mishnayos to Rebbi Yosi. First, Rav Chisda says that Rebbi Yosi is the Tana of the Mishnah in Terumos (1:2) that says that a deaf person who separated Terumah fulfilled his obligation b'Di'eved even though he could not hear the blessing. Second, Rav Masnah attributes to him the Mishnah in Megilah (19b) that says that a deaf person cannot read the Megilah on Purim because he cannot hear what he says.
The Gemara commences a lengthy discussion following each statement of these two Amora'im, proposing which Tana is the author of which Mishnah or Beraisa that deals with reciting a prayer or blessing inaudibly.
In the end of both Sugyos, the Gemara introduces a third opinion -- that of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah -- in addition to the opinions of Rebbi Yosi and Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah. Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah maintains that when one reads the Shema without hearing what he says, he fulfills his obligation b'Di'eved. The Gemara concludes that Rebbi Yehudah agrees with the opinion of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, who says that one fulfills his obligation only b'Di'eved.
In the first stage of both Sugyos, when the Gemara assumes that Rebbi Yehudah does not agree with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, RASHI (in the first Sugya, DH Ela Rebbi Yehudah l'Chatchilah Ka'amar; and in the second Sugya, DH l'Olam Rebbi Yehudah) writes that the Tana of the Mishnah in Terumos (first Sugya) and the Mishnah in Megilah (second Sugya) is Rebbi Yosi. In other words, Rav Chisda and Rav Masnah were correct.
In the end of both Sugyos, when the Gemara concludes that Rebbi Yehudah agrees with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rashi (in the first Sugya, DH Afilu Teima Rebbi Yehudah; and in the second Sugya, DH Afilu Teima Rebbi Yehudah) says that the authors of those two Mishnayos (in Terumos and in Megilah) are not Rebbi Yosi, but Rebbi Yehudah, and Rav Chisda and Rav Masnah were incorrect.
Why does Rashi change this point?
ANSWER: Rashi understands that when the Gemara introduces Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah (who says that one fulfills his obligation b'Di'eved), the Gemara's intention is to defend Rav Chisda and Rav Masnah. In what way is the Gemara supporting their statements?
The Gemara first asserts that Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah of the Beraisa is the only Tana who maintains that one fulfills his obligation b'Di'eved when he does not hear what he says. By showing us that there is no Tana in any Mishnah that is of that opinion -- other than Rebbi Yosi in our Mishnah -- it must be that the Tana of the Mishnah in Terumos that says that one fulfills his obligation b'Di'eved is none other than Rebbi Yosi. It is unlikely that the Tana of the Mishnah in Terumos is a Tana that is not mentioned elsewhere in a Mishnah (but only in a Beraisa, such as Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah). Similarly, the Gemara defends Rav Masnah by showing that Rebbi Yosi is the only Tana in a Mishnah who is of the opinion that one fulfills his obligation b'Di'eved. Accordingly, the Tana of the Mishnah in Megilah is most likely Rebbi Yosi (and the Mishnah there is teaching that a deaf person cannot read the Megilah even b'Di'eved).
When the Gemara concludes that Rebbi Yehudah agrees with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rashi understands that the Gemara is refuting Rav Chisda and Rav Masnah conclusively. That is, each of those Mishnayos could be either Rebbi Yehudah or Rebbi Yosi, and thus it is incorrect to assert, as Rav Chisda and Rav Masnah do, that the Mishnayos can be only Rebbi Yosi. (M. KORNFELD, based on the MAHARSHA)